The Old Rectory is set in a valley overlooking a tiny Saxon church. Inside the garden's enclosing stone walls, Mary Keen has divided up the space to make 10 distinct areas, including a fine kitchen garden. Tender plants and unusual pelargoniums are a speciality.
There is much to be learned here: how to manipulate changes of level in a garden, how to preserve distinct moods between one part of the garden and the next. The way that one feels in a garden is important. This one is exceptionally peaceful. Don't miss the auricula theatre made in the old bread oven. Admission pounds 2.50 (children free). If you can't get to the garden, read the book Mary Keen wrote about its making. Creating a Garden is published by Frances Lincoln (pounds 25).
THE WESSEX Coppice Group, launched four years ago in Hampshire by Sir David Attenborough, has now built up a database of more than 500 craftsmen who work with hazel. The group can put you in touch with a coppicer in your area who will either sell direct, make something to order, or tell you where to go to buy wigwams, trellises, and pea sticks (the best way of supporting plants in a herbaceous border).
Hazel wigwams are available up to 8ft tall, and are as useful in flower borders as in vegetable gardens. They last at least five years, if brought in for winter. Prices start at about pounds 15.
Wessex Coppice Group website: (http://www. coppice.org.uk)
Linda Glynn: 01962 772030
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